MOSCOW Feb 13 Tesco Plc, Britain's
biggest retailer, is considering opening its F&F clothing stores
in Russia as part of a plan to expand the brand's global
presence, three sources familiar with the company's plans said.
F&F, launched in the UK and the Republic of Ireland in 2001,
has already announced plans to boost its international presence
and earlier this week said it had opened its first stores in the
Philippines, increasing its footprint to 20 countries.
Although it has not mentioned Russia among countries it was
targeting, one source close to the company said F&F was
interested in the market, which has been buoyed by a rising
Russia has been a popular destination for international
consumer-focused firms seeking to diversify away from more
mature markets in Europe and the United States, and many
clothing retailers such as Marks & Spencer Group Plc,
Inditex SA and Gap Inc are already present in
Russian shopping malls.
Tesco, the world's third-biggest retailer, has had a run of
poor results and is in the midst of a 1 billion pounds ($1.7
billion) turnaround plan for its main British business,
suffering from competition for customers and pressure on
Two other sources said Tesco would likely partner with
Debruss - the Russian franchise operator of British retailer
Debenhams Plc - to open F&F stores. The two are looking
at opening the first outlets in Moscow in two large malls due to
open in the fourth quarter of 2014, one of the sources said.
Preliminary plans envisage the opening of up to five stores
in Russia this year and a further eight in 2015, although the
firms have not yet signed a partnership agreement.
A Tesco spokesman said the company is always looking for new
opportunities for F&F but declined further comment. Debruss